Should Obama’s jobs plan be passed piece by piece? That’s the topic of tonight’s Intelligence Squared debate.
Catch the livestream at Slate.
The motion: Congress should pass Obama’s jobs plan, piece by piece.
For the motion: Princeton’s Cecilia Rouse and Moody’s Mark Zandi
Against the motion: Cato’s Daniel Mitchell and University of Chicago’s Richard Epstein
For the motion:45% (before) 69% (after)
Against the motion: 16% (before) 22% (after)
Undecided: 39% (before) 9% (after)
8:23 Epstein’s closing remarks has not addressed the motion whatsoever. More on “the economy” without addressing Obama’s jobs plan.
8:20 Mitchell: I care a lot more about the people at the bottom than at the top.
8:20 Mitchell: I want to get back the labor market conditions we had under Reagan and Clinton.
8:19 Mitchell says Obama’s job plan should not be passed in whole or in part.
Round 2: Q &A
8:10 The debate can’t seem to free itself from economic history, theory and international economics. Not much on Obama’s jobs plan.
8:04 Epstein’s short term solution to the jobs problem? De-regulation.
8:00 Moderator JohnDonvan interrupts Richard Epstein: “Do you know when you speak there are only commas at the end of everything you say?”
7:56 Mitchell: Employers only hire people who they think will make them money....people won’t get jobs if they are unemployed longer than six or nine months...and unemployment benefits extend unemployment.
7:52 Sparring between Zandi and Epstein. Zandi: You asked a question and I’m going to answer it.
7:47 Question posed: Can jobs be disaggregated from an overall economic climate?
7:39 Epstein: If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t spend the government’s money to money.
7:37 Epstein is not popular tonight....calling Obama’s bill a “handout” to unions.
7:35 Debaters getting caught in economic history interpretations which never tends to get discussions nowhere.
7:29 Mitchell says the great thing about being a libertarian is that he doesn’t have ot respect the CBO.
7:27 Epstein says to never trust the CBO.
7:25 Epstein says you’re taking money out of the hands of those that know how to use it. Audience rustles and some boo.
Round 1: Opening statements
7:23 End of Round 1. Mitchell and Epstein made stronger cases, but is that enough to overcome most Americans’ inclination that Obama’s jobs bill needs to be passed in some way, shape or form?
7:20 Epstein: Employers don’t just look at this year’s tax rates, they also look at next year’s tax.
7:18 Epstein: All of the micromanagement makes the macroeconomic problems more difficult ot manage.
7:16 Epstein: No disagreement on the sorry state of the economy.
7:15 Rouse: I support the program because I worry about families
7:12 Rouse This is not about trying to create a giant public sector program
7:10 Rouse: We have a recovery with a small ‘r’
7:08 Rouse up to the podium.
7:04 Mitchell winning over the audience with humorand some fairly common sense propositions.
7:02 Mitchell: Keynsianism redistributes national income, but doesn’t address growth.
7:00 Mitchell: Plans to offer an intro to libertarian economic philosophy.
6:58 Zandi: “Obama’s job plan will ensure we don’t [fall back into a recesssion].”
6:57: Zandi: If no fiscal stimulus, we would have seen a depression, not a recession.
6:55 Zandi: Fiscal stimulus succeeded. If nothing else is done, we will fall back into deep recession.